It's the 21st of December (56282), or 22.214.171.124.0 in the Mayan long-count calendar, the day the world is supposed to end, and yet, here I am. I know I haven't posted since the equinox, and it's now the solstice, but I just finished finals so I have a bit of free time. Not sure what to write about; the "fiscal cliff", gun control, The Hobbit?
No point writing about what didn't happen, i.e. the "end of the world". Someone asked me how I thought it will end. Well, literally it will end billions of years from now when the sun expands into a red giant. Of course, all life on earth will likely be long dead by then, since global warming will cook the planet in a few hundred million years. This is not the global warming everyone talks about, which is caused by humans and will make things difficult for future generations, but caused by the activity of the sun increasing over eons, and makes the arguments over Kyoto look insignificant.
It's funny to hear people talking about how to survive the sun going red giant billions of years from now, when human beings aren't going to be here. Even if the earth remained inhabitable until then, we cannot expect our species to last that long. That's longer than life has already existed! Earth is about four and a half billion years old. The Cambrian Period, which is when animals with hard parts first appeared, was a half-billion years ago, and in another half-billion years there may be no life left, so forget five billion years. But species typically last hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Whatever happens to us, our environment will be different than the one we initially evolved in, so we will continue to adapt and evolve into new species, at the very best, or we'll simply go extinct, without any descendants. In any event, Homo sapiens will longer exist.
Whether we do go extinct, or what we might evolve into, I have no clue.